KUALA LUMPUR: US President Barack Obama’s easy demeanour struck a chord with hotel staff during his stay at The Ritz-Carlton here.
The most powerful man in the world was very down to earth, said hotel general manager Mahmoud Skaf.
“He had a ready smile for everyone he met. He will make you so comfortable, and will even ask your name,” said Mahmoud.
Obama and his entourage occupied 160 rooms (the hotel has 251). They were mindful not to disrupt other guests.
“Obama would go and share the gym in the morning with the other guests,” said Mahmoud.
He added that Obama took the time to personally meet and thank the staff who had worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make his stay comfortable.
“He shook their hands and said `you guys did a wonderful job’,” said Mahmoud.
Before leaving, Obama even made Mahmoud’s day by signing a Chicago White Sox baseball which the latter had caught while watching a game in Chicago.
Mahmoud, an American, said he remembered seeing Obama who was serving in the state senate in the 90s.
“I never imagined he would be President and it is a real privilege to have him at the hotel,” he said.
The hotel’s chief artist Frankie Lee also had nice things to say about Obama.
“I am very proud that he stayed with us,” said Lee, who was in charge of decorating the hotel and the meeting room used by Obama.
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